Feature Request: Drag to reorder tabs

As the title says, I often feel the need to reorganize my open tabs. Currently, to do so I have to open a new tab and copy/paste into it, and then close the old tab. Which is rather unwieldy.

Just a simple drag-to-reorder action would be quite nice; something like Safari or Finder has. Obviously the Font tab would have to have a fixed position; perhaps it could gain a slightly different style from the others to indicate this. Anyway, hope this is possible and simple to implement. Thanks.

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What for? Why not just reuse the existing tab? Or use Sample Strings?

To keep myself organized. It’s really by far the quickest way.

For example, the other day I was working with a couple different sets of text in a pixel font, trying to see how well my alphabet worked together in different configurations. I had my first tab open with the full character set (A B C … a b c, etc.), spaced apart for visibility, the second tab open with the uppercase characters I was currently working on*, the third tab with the lowercase characters, and then I added a fourth tab with the basic alphabet in Aa Bb … format. Later I added a few tabs with some random sentences for readability testing.

I wanted to move the fourth tab to the second position, so it would be next to the tab with the full character set. To do so, though, I had to copy the uppercase characters to the end of the fourth tab and then move the rest of the tab’s contents back to the second – instead of simply dragging the tab, like I do in every other tabbed application I use (Safari, Finder, Coda – even Photoshop, though I prefer to work in separate windows there). It’s an action that’s quite common in user interfaces, and its absence is frankly quite frustrating.

As for Sample Strings, I like to make up new text for testing (in addition to the standard strings that are useful for spacing and such) every time I work; it would be infeasible and silly to save each one simply to move it around more quickly.

*I wasn’t using the main viewing tab for drawing because it’s easier to keep it at a consistent zoom level, rather than zooming in and out constantly.

We will think about it, but it is not high on the list, because switching between texts quickly is exactly what sample strings have been designed for.

Compared to other apps, tabs in Glyphs have a different function. They cannot be turned into or moved to a separate window, and they are always tied to the same document.

In defense of sample strings, I do not think it is silly to use them. I have built up a set of useful sample strings over the years covering a range of languages, and can thus achieve more consistent results. It is easy to forget an important letter combo.

You can try putting what you call the full character sets into your sample strings, and set shortcuts for Edit > Other > Select Next/Previous Sample String in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, to quickly switch between them. It doesn’t keep you from typing your own texts, even in the same tab.

For structured testing I found if easier to set up a indesign document and the follow this: http://www.glyphsapp.com/tutorials/testing-your-fonts-in-adobe-apps/

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I understand what you’re saying, and I don’t mind too much if this isn’t implemented; but I’m not quite sure if you understand what I mean.

I don't think sample strings are silly at all; they're quite useful, for exactly the reason you mention. However, what I was referring to as silly would be saving some text that I want to use only once; this may seem strange to you, but it's part of my workflow to create new bits of text for each typeface/day that I'm working. It just helps me get a feel for how things are working out, in addition to using the sample strings for more consistent testing.

As for switching quickly between them, what I really want is to be able to keep them all open at the same time, and have clear separations between my different samples, with all the white space around them that comes from working in separate tabs. No matter what keyboard shortcut I set up for using strings, I’m still going to be using tabs as well; and since I’m already used to the Command-Shift-Bracket shortcut for moving between them, I’m able to use it extremely rapidly – much more rapidly than moving through a long list of strings, even if I group my most-used strings together.

Alas, although I have InDesign installed, I have found it second only to Illustrator in apps that I cannot for the life of me seem to learn how to use. It's rather infuriating, actually, since I've been interested in playing with it for typesetting since long before I began to seriously attempt type design; but it still defeats me. I may try this though – perhaps having something be easy to do (in this case, testing a font) will enable me to learn more of the program.

Anyway, I hope I don’t come off as a whiner – this issue is one of very few that I have with Glyphs, which I have found for the most part to be one of the most intuitive programs I’ve ever used.

I’d just like to add my voice to that of the OP: I am continually wanting to reorder tabs, and forgetting that in contrast to most other tab contexts, it is not possible. I understand that sample strings are an alternative for some scenarios, but not for mine, nor it seems for the OP’s. I generally have a string tab and a lot of individual glyph tabs which I edit concurrently with reference to the string. As glyphs come and go, the random order begins to irritate me slightly. It’s not a big deal, and if the implementation is time-consuming I would accept that there are probably higher priorities, but it would be a welcome bit of polish if it appeared.

One other minor tab feature I’d welcome: being able to Option-click on the first (font) tab as well as the others to close all other tabs. I realise it does not (and should not) have a close button, but just an Option-click on the tab itself (actually on any tab) would do the job nicely without displacing any other commands. If you have several tabs open but only want the font tab, it seems inelegant that closing the rest should be a two-step process.


It may be four years since the last post, but I’d also like to add my vote for drag-to-reorder tabs. I understand it may not be a high-priority topic but from a general user experience perspective, it would make management and navigation of multiple tabs much easier.

For context, I like to set up collections of tabs based on the part of the design and production process I’m in. Groupings of letters that share similar shapes/components for example, and then later on strings the help check fitting/sidebearings and eventually tabs with strings more specifically for kerning. I know all of this can be accomplished using sample strings, but separate tabs help keep me focused on one task at a time while allowing the flexibility to shift focus between tasks.

So have I, and I learned so much doing it! This may seem tiresome but it bears fruit.


Is this something you would consider adding in the future? It’s a feature that would be quite beneficial to my work.

I’ll put it on the list.